Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is the Bloc Dead? Not yet with all the money they will have

Many of the areas of Quebec where the Bloc has done well were won by the Creditistes in the 1960s and 70s.   When the party lost their last six seats in the 1980 election, the party completely faded away.    Is this something we can expect of the Bloc?  

The Bloc is not dead by a long shot.    First of all the party has a strong provincial ally in the Parti Quebecois.   It still managed to garner almost a quarter of the vote in Quebec, the second highest in the province but the party managed to win fewer seats than either the Liberals or the Conservatives.   It is this popular vote that will work in their favour for the next election.

The Bloc came first or second in 46 ridings and they broke the mark needed to get rebates in 65 of 75 ridings in the province.   If you break 10% of the vote you qualify for a rebate of your election expenses.    The Bloc will get about $38,000 per riding in 65 ridings for a total of close to $2.5 million.   The NDP will get very few election expenses rebated in Quebec because they spent very little money in that province.

The Bloc will also qualify for about $2.5 million in party election expense rebates.   They will also get another $1.8 million in the per vote subsidy in the next year and another $1.8 million over the three years after that.   All in all, the Bloc will garner $8.6 million dollars in public money for their next election.   On average, the Bloc has raised about $600,000 per year, which over four years is only $2.4 million.  Financially the Bloc was not that dramatically harmed by this election, they will miss out on about $2 million in per vote subsidy because of the drop in their popular vote, but the break between this election and the next won should allow them the space to make up for it.

The 2011 election will be a huge slap upside the head for the Bloc and they will now have four years to build a strong political machine to win seats in the next election.   It is unrealistic to think that many of the 59 New Democrats from Quebec will be re-elected in 2015 given that they have no local organization or fundraising machine.   I would argue that 40 of the NDP held seats are defacto blank slates for the next election and open for anyone to win.  
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